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Iranian Enriched Uranium Limit Breached, IAEA Confirms

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed Monday that Iran has surpassed the stockpile of low-enriched uranium allowed under the 2015 nuclear accord with world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

An IAEA spokesman said the organization had verified Iran’s stockpile of uranium enriched up to 3.67% had exceeded the 300 kilograms allowed.

“We can confirm that IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano has informed the Board of Governors that the Agency verified on 1 July that Iran’s total enriched uranium stockpile exceeded [the deal’s limit],” the statement read.

Iranian state media cited Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as confirming on Monday afternoon that a breach of JCPOA obligations had taken place.

“Iran has crossed the 300-kilogram limit based on its plan” announced in May, Zarif said.  He noted that the Islamic Republic could soon begin enriching the uranium to higher levels. “The next step is about the 3.67% limitation, which we will implement too,” he warned.

“The Europeans have failed to fulfil their promises of protecting Iran’s interests under the deal, “Zarif added. “If Europeans do what they have to do, our measures are reversible.”

Iran notified China, Russia, France, Germany, and Britain of its decision to scrap some commitments under the nuclear accord, a year after the United States withdrew from the agreement and re-imposed sanctions.

On May 8, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned world powers that unless they shield the country’s collapsing economy from U.S. sanctions within 60 days, Iran would start enriching uranium at higher levels.

The IAEA, which was charged with verifying Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear accord, has repeatedly been accused of failing to establish a full picture of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The atomic agency took a skeptical approach to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s revelations at the United Nations General Assembly that Iran had a nuclear warehouse in Tehran and gave no indication that it would investigate the Israeli claims further.

The IAEA previously failed to investigate the nuclear archives that Israel had smuggled out of Iran, even though the recovered documents and files contained details unknown to international inspectors.

Image Source – Creative Commons